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Florida Dog Bite Law – Rights of Dog Bite Victims and Legal Responsibility of Dog Owners

  • Sumo

According to The Humane Society of the U.S., there are over 77.5 million “owned” dogs in America. In fact, almost 40 percent of American homes have at least one dog.
There is no question that Americans love dogs. And they love us right back. But sometimes that love takes the form of protection and even aggression, which is why dog bite laws exist.
Florida dog owners can be held liable for any damages caused by their dog – either in a public place or when the victim is on the owner’s property lawfully. Florida has a strict liability law in place. That means that a dog owner is liable for personal injuries caused by a dog bite even if the dog had no prior history of dog bites or aggression. Typically, a Florida dog bite case is not controlled by the negligence or lack of negligence of the dog owner. If a dog bite takes place, the dog owner is typically liable unless the person was a trespasser on the property. What constitutes a “lawful presence”?
If an owner has given someone permission to be on the property – invited a friend or neighbor over, called a repairman for service, installed a mailbox to receive mail – that is lawful presence. If someone is trespassing and does not have permission to be on the property, that person is not a lawful guest.
The owner of a dangerous dog can defend against potential liability by displaying signage on their property that says, “Dangerous Dog”. However, signage will not discharge liability if the victim is under the age of six or if an owner has been negligent (leaving a gate open, not repairing a fence, etc.).
Florida dog bite law also requires owners of dangerous dogs to:
• Register the dog with the state
• Identify the dangerous dog with an electronic implant or tattoo
• Notify animal control immediately if the dog has bitten someone, has gotten loose, been sold or dies.
• Properly confine the dog
• Post clear warning signs at all entry points on the property that there is a dangerous dog
If you or a member of your family have been the victim of a dog bite and suffered any physical or emotional loss, contact our Jacksonville personal injury lawyers for advice and consultation regarding injuries, medical bills, homeowner’s insurance, liability insurance, and other legal matters./a>.

This entry was posted in Child Safety, Dogs / Dog Bites / Animals / Pets. Bookmark the permalink.

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